Rod Oram can nearly always be relied upon for insightful analysis that takes debate a step further. In the SSTimes today he asks:
“are we being realistic about the current state of the nation? Each person will have his or her own view. But if, as individuals and a society, we’re gloomier than the facts warrant, we will undermine ourselves. We will fail to acknowledge and build on what we have achieved, fail to be confident and ambitious about the future. Then our worst fears will become reality….
By any realistic measure the economy today is far stronger, more flexible and resilient than it was then; conditions at home and abroad are much better; and New Zealand’s opportunities in the world far greater.
Failing to believe that will lead to three tragic outcomes: companies will sharply cut their investment in themselves, they will stunt their development; as a result, they will make the recession deeper and longer, they will be weaker when the upturn comes; and we will fulfil our worst fears about the New Zealand economy. Thus, now more than ever, this is a time for realism, confidence and ambition.”
With the political hothouse of Parliament returning this week, and Labour looking to convince the electorate that they can offer an agenda for change (whilst maintaining stability), let’s see whether they can also be convincing that we have room for optimism even in the depths of winter.